NOTE: The following description is a GENERAL Overview of this career and not a description of a particular job posting.
The job of a Boilermaker is to perform various tasks associated with assembling, repairing, and maintaining shipboard steam production systems. Following blueprints, boilermakers locate and mark reference points on the boiler foundation, using straightedges, squares, transits, and tape measures. Boilermakers may attach rigging and then signal crane operators to life heavy frame components and place these sections and other parts into place. They align sections using plumb bobs, levels, wedges, and turnbuckles. Boilermakers use hammers, files, grinders, and cutting torches to remove irregular edges for proper fit. They then bolt or weld the edges together. Boilermakers align attach water tubes, stacks, valves, gauges, and other parts and test entire systems temporarily in a fabricating shop to insure a proper fit before final assembly on the permanent site. Boilermakers usually maintain efficient systems by regularly inspecting the boilers and providing the necessary corrective actions to update the various components such as burners and boiler tubes. They also inspect the tubes, fittings, valves, controls, and auxiliary machinery and clean or supervise the cleaning of boilers using scrapers, wire brushes, and cleaning solvents. They repair or replace defective parts using hand and power tools, gas torches, and welding equipment and may operate metalworking machinery to repair or fabricate parts. They also dismantle leaky boilers, patch weak spots with metal stock, replace defective sections and strengthen joints. The skilled Boiler Maker will be familiar with blueprint reading, use of associated hand and power tools, possess and ability to work on all boiler systems from low to high pressure.
A career as a boilermaker typically requires a high school diploma, and anywhere from a few months to one year of experience working with the required tools and skills, particularly in a marine environment. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed, particularly with career-related tools and work in a marine setting.